The specter of stranded assets in the US electric utility industry has risen again like the undead in a typical horror movie. A leading Wall Street analyst noted recently that a survey of electric utility employees showed that 45% believed that asset stranding was the number one risk the electric industry faced. However only 18% of them believed this to be an issue of serious financial or regulatory concern. This would suggest an overall industry complacency despite the worldwide concern about climate change and potentially rather expensive means of mitigation. The utility assets most at risk presently are those devoted mainly to retrofit old coal-fired power generating plants to make them more environmentally acceptable and treatment of coal ash waste disposal facilities. If US coal fired power generating facilities are retired prematurely (meaning before they are fully depreciated) who will pay to recover costs? The traditional regulatory response has […]